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‘Denial of Real News’: CNNers Go Off on Team Trump After New Report on Intel Briefing

If you were wondering how CNN would proceed after being trashed by President-elect Donald Trump and his advisors this week, the first 15 minutes of tonight’s AC360 should make it very clear.

The quartet of Anderson Cooper, Jake Tapper, Jim Sciutto, and Jim Acosta (the reporter who Trump fought with) went all-in criticizing the Trump team’s reactions to their network’s initial reporting about the 2-page synopsis the president-elect was briefed on.

Kellyanne Conway in particular disputed that––in part by citing reports from elsewhere––but with CNN supplementing its reporting tonight, Cooper called out Conway for “misleading on two points” in their contentious back-and-forth last night. Cooper again made it clear that CNN’s reporting was separate and distinct from BuzzFeed’s (and they did not link directly to BuzzFeed’s report with that dossier full of unverified allegations, even though Conway told Cooper they did).

Cooper played the clip of Conway saying that heads should roll at CNN if their report turns out to be wrong, and then he said this:

“Given what’s happened today… it seems like that’s a better question for her. I agree with Kellyanne Conway. If we were wrong, we would admit it. But we were not wrong. She was. The question is will she hold herself and her team to the same standard?”

And that was just the tip of the iceberg, because when Cooper brought his colleagues on, Tapper observed that “this has been the modus operandi for President-elect Trump and his team, to say what they believe to be true even if it is disputed by facts, and then stick with it… It’s a fact-free campaign.”

All four men talked about how their network’s reporting has been bolstered not just by the follow-up tonight, but by Vice President Joe Biden and DNI head James Clapper, and Sciutto expressed his concern that Trump “went out with an inaccurate presentation of the facts.”

Acosta, who was directly told by Trump that CNN is fake news, added this:

“There’s something worse than fake news and that’s the denial of real news… They’re just not in command of the facts. This has been a pattern for the Trump campaign and now the Trump transition where they don’t like the news that’s being reported and they go after the messenger.”

Sciutto also brought up the issue of “a hostility to facts… and a concerted effort by Donald Trump and his team to call into question the very existence of facts, the very existence of non-partisan news.”

Watch the full segment above, via CNN.

[image via screengrab]

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Follow Josh Feldman on Twitter: @feldmaniac

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